Scholarships come in a variety of types and sizes although many people interested in college remain somewhat confused. Unfortunately, many scholarship opportunities are never even tapped into, which means people who could be going to college with financial aid are missing out on a huge opportunity to create a better future. For instance, the Federal government offers scholarships, as do colleges and universities. However, specific to this article we wanted to address opportunities with local scholarships, helping you see that financial assistance is often available in your own backyard.
In fact, we suggest that when considering financial help of this type that you start by identifying scholarships within your own home region. For this, you could check with different educational institutions in your hometown, talk to different businesses, ask the Chamber of Commerce, or even question other college students you might know. Remember, other options exist but one of the biggest advantages of local scholarships is that the level of competition is much less. By not going up against such a large group of people for the same scholarship, your chance of qualifying would improve but also, the amount of money offered could potentially be higher.
The following are just a few of the people you could talk to or the places you could go in search of opportunities for local scholarships.
• School Counselors – When still in high school, your guidance counselor would be able to offer a wealth of information. Learning all you can and getting prepared while still in high school would prove highly beneficial. If you want to attend college but need to start looking at scholarships, this person would have the ability to show you many different possibilities specific to your area of interest.
• Community Foundations – Take time to check in your city or even county for any local community foundations. You would be amazed at the number of foundations that have scholarships and other types of financial aid to offer so this is definitely an avenue to pursue.
• Not-for-Profit Organizations – Another of the many opportunities for local scholarships is through not-for-profit organizations. Cities all over the country are dotted with numerous organizations of this type so conducting research to see if financial aid is available would be worth the time and effort.
• Trade and/or Labor Unions – Most people overlook scholarship possibilities through unions but most have opportunities if you or your parents are members.
• Music Instructors – If you plan to pursue a degree in music, talk to your high school’s music instructor about free or reduced music lessons. Often, teachers in this role gladly work with lower income students as a means of helping them prepare for an education in the arts.
• Churches – Often, larger churches also have scholarship opportunities. In this case, the first students helped would be those who attend the church or have parents who attend. However, if your goal were to move ahead in the religious sector of education then scholarships would be a real possibility even if you or your family does not attend services at that church.
• Chamber of Commerce – As mentioned, finding local scholarships is often as easy as contacting your city’s Chamber of Commerce. In addition to providing you with information about other scholarships offers, the Chamber of Commerce itself may have its own scholarship. Although the amount of financial aid would likely be small, when paying for a college education every dime counts.
• Disabilities – The last option for local scholarships we wanted to mention has to do with having a disability or even certain type of illness. If you live with a serious disability securing a scholarship would actually be easy. Another example would be having asthma. In this case, several organizations offer special scholarships that would cover an illness such as asthma plus many others.